Again and again, our corporate sponsors, individual donors, and volunteers go the extra mile for the students in Change for Kids schools. This holiday season, everyone was especially generous! As we distribute Wish List holiday gifts, coats, and shoes in our schools, seeing the excitement and joy on the children’s faces as they open their packages is so fulfilling. It makes us wish every one of our generous donors could be there to witness the students’ happiness and get a firsthand thank you.
This week, we are so grateful to Payless for helping CFK send every student at Brooklyn’s PS 81 home with a brand new pair of sneakers that fit. Kids’ feet grow so quickly, and well-fitting shoes are essential for them to get the exercise they need in comfort. With their donation, Payless is making such a difference in the lives of these children.
The Wish List gift distributions are a powerful, tangible demonstration of our elementary schools’ learning communities. Many of these students live in transitional housing, and these gifts are often the only ones they will receive during the holiday season. Even in the midst of their excitement and anticipation, kids wait patiently until everyone in the class has a gift before they tear into the wrapping. They calmly negotiate among themselves if there are any swaps to make. One student revealed that her wish list gift was actually intended for her younger sister, whose school doesn’t have a gift wish list program. Sometimes the kids were prompted to say thank you by the teachers, yet most of the time they shouted and squealed their thanks as soon as their gifts were opened. An aspiring musician in the second grade was absolutely incredulous that his electronic keyboard was really his to take home!
The magic of giving filled classrooms across the city, and made us wish that we could bring this special feeling to every community. Our enormous thanks to everyone involved in the Payless shoe distribution, and to everyone who bought a gift for a CFK school, including the groups at Apollo Global Management, Yale Club, NYU’s Black Alumni Association Cherry Ivy, MTS, Erica Barrett, Slack, Labaton, Union Square Ventures, Northern Trust, and so many more.
CFK wishes you and yours a very happy holiday season.